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Anthony Gargano of Philadelphia Sports Radio 620 WIP Calls on Attorney Ron Greenblatt to Gain Insight Into the NFL Lockout

By: DBHWebGPEFF

Attorney Ron Greenblatt Helps Make Sense of NFL Lockout with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow.

Philadelphia Sports Radio 620 WIP is tapping the legal expertise of Attorney Ronald Greenblatt, managing partner of the Philadelphia law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, to explain developments in the 2011 NFL lockout and arbitration case to its listening audience. In his on-air appearance on the midday show with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow, Attorney Ron Greenblatt talked about the April 6 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson to take a few weeks before ruling on the players’ request for an injunction that would end the lockout.

“What she has done is she has told the parties involved to go back and try to settle the case. I don’t see that happening because it doesn’t seem like the owners are even willing to sit down with the players for strategic reasons. The reason I think the owners don’t want to do that is because that would be acknowledgment that there’s not a union anymore, that they’re sitting down with the players as individuals, therefore then you go to the antitrust provisions and anything they do – the draft, free agent signings, all of those things would be a violation of the law. So I don’t think the owners will do it. They’ve got some good lawyers on their side, as do the players. So I think it’s going to take a decision by her to get this ball moving. And I can pretty much guarantee that whoever loses is appealing,” the Philadelphia attorney explained on the sports talk show.

At issue is a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players’ Association. The lockout began after negotiations broke down and the players disbanded their union. A lockout means the draft, free agent signings, off-season trades, training camps and other football matters are put on hold. The players filed an injunction as well as a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. In commenting on the judge’s decision, Attorney Ronald Greenblatt noted that Attorney Patricia Pierce, also a partner in the Philadelphia law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, had a major employment labor case in front of Judge Nelson several years ago. Ron pointed out during the interview, “My partner says she’s an A-plus judge in terms of legal ability. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a magistrate judge, which settles cases like this and gets involved in disputes like this. This judge knows what she’s doing. She’s hoping to get some movement from both sides on this issue and she must think there’s some chance of that happening.”

When the few weeks ended with no movement from either side, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players’ request to lift the lockout. As a result of the April 25 ruling, owners are required to pay the players’ salary and medical benefits and allow them to enter their team’s facilities. However, Attorney Ron Greenblatt doesn’t think owners will conduct any trades or sign any free agents. “I think you’re going to see owners doing the bare minimum they have to under the law,” he said. As Ron predicted on 610 WIP, the owners immediately filed an appeal following the judge’s ruling. In seeking relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, the NFL questioned whether Judge Susan Richard Nelson exceeded her jurisdiction in making the ruling.

Attorney Ron Greenblatt, an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan, thinks it will be a battle in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. “If the players win, it really puts the owners in a bad position,” he said. “Remember, they’ve lost the TV revenue in front of U.S. District Judge David Doty and that hurt them because they we’re hoping to get all that money while this was going on and now they’re not. They appealed it, but they’re not getting the money now. In reading what Judge Doty had to say, I think that’s going to be a tough one to overturn on appeal.”

During his radio appearance, Attorney Greenblatt also brought to light the stress the lockout is putting on players, particularly the younger guys who are not making as much money as veteran players. “A lot of these players, even if they don’t have children, come from poor situations and their whole family is relying on their income. You can imagine the stress that younger players who have only been in the league one, two and three years are feeling from having to pay their own medical insurance, having to work out on their own, all those things that previously were paid for. It’s a tremendous amount of stress on them and their families,” he pointed out. For a full transcript of the interview you may view it online or listen to the actual interview as delivered via WGP media interview piece on YouTube.

Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney Ronald Greenblatt, please access his bio.

$4 Million Verdict in Helpin v. University of Pennsylvania

By: DBHWebGPEFF

Founder of Community Dental Clinic Wins Breach of Contract Case. Doctor Mark Helpin, a Philadelphia dentist who built a dental clinic at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to provide dental services to children from low income families, has won his breach of contract case against the University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the $4 million verdict after a jury ruled that the university reneged on its contract by effectively firing Dr. Mark Helpin, DMD. He was hired by the University of Pennsylvania in 1989 as director of pediatric dentistry at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Main Line doctor was transferred and forced to resign after a new dean took over at the university 13 years later. Attorney Patricia Pierce with the Philadelphia criminal law firm Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores (WGP), who represented Dr. Helpin along with Attorney James Funt of WGP, said the case goes well beyond just a breach of contract. The Philadelphia employment lawyer said the firing of the Pennsylvania pediatric dentist resulted in fewer medical services available for people in the West Philadelphia community who need them the most. In a radio interview with KYW 1060 Newsradio reporter Brad Segall, Patricia Pierce noted, “The tragedy of it is that you can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again and the clinic that he founded and the whole process of the legal maneuvering and his discharge has really been destroyed. Attorney Pierce added that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling vindicated and compensated her client, but that the damage had been done and was irrevocable. Please note: Patricia Pierce handled this case while working for the law firm of Willig, Williams & Davidson. Ms. Pierce was chair of the firm’s Employment and Complex Litigation Practice. For more information on the firm you may visit their web site at www.wwdlaw.com. Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney Patricia Pierce or Attorney James Funt, please access their profiles.

“Braking Point” – DHS Social Worker Given Dangerous Vehicle

By: DBHWebGPEFF

Braking Point…DHS Social Worker Wrongly Criminally Charged for a Car Accident When the Brakes Failed Cleared of all Criminal Charges. She Then Successfully Sues the City for False Arrest.

A DHS Social Worker Contends The City Loaned Her A Dangerous Vehicle.

Department of Human Services (DHS) social worker Dawn George was driving a city-owned 1999 Dodge Caravan on North Broad Street when its brakes completely failed, according to her complaint. After careening through traffic for four blocks, George ultimately crashed at the intersection of Cecil B. Moore Avenue, critically injuring another driver and totaling both vehicles.

George, who was subsequently charged with aggravated assault, is suing the investigating police officer for false arrest. The case is scheduled for trial this month. An exact court date hasn’t yet been assigned.

As part of their job requirements, DHS social workers frequently drive cars in the city’s fleet. They use the vehicles to visit the homes of potential foster parents, check in on children who are already placed, and even drive children to doctor and therapy appointments. If a child is placed with relatives who live three hours away from Philadelphia, a social worker must make that long-distance drive to visit the home.

Just one day prior to George’s March 25, 2003, accident, two other DHS social workers submitted a written complaint about the van to the agency’s Transportation Unit.

Erica Hall and Ramona Fleming used the Caravan for work, and had a child riding along with them. Upon returning the vehicle, the women submitted a report to the DHS Transportation Unit stating that the brakes on the van needed to be repaired.

In her August affidavit, Fleming recalled that she and Hall had to push the brakes “all the way to the floor”in order to slow down. Fleming said, “it took twice as long for the car to stop compared to brakes that were actually working normally.”

Fleming also testified that when Hall handed the return information form to the Transportation Unit, she mentioned to the counter person that the brakes on the van “were not working.”

Regardless, the Transportation Unit signed out the van to George the following day when she requested a vehicle to drive to a pre-placement interview. On her way back to the office, George started to fill out the standard pool car form. On that document, George noted that the brakes felt “like they were scraping, maybe rotors.”

Soon after jotting down her comments, as George drove south past the intersection of North Broad and Diamond streets, she pressed the brake pedal, but the van wouldn’t stop. The van rear-ended a Toyota Corolla. The force damaged the Toyota’s trunk, and caused the sedan to sideswipe another vehicle.

At that point, George says, she was furiously pumping the van’s brakes, but the vehicle wasn’t slowing down. In an effort to avoid traffic, George recalls steering the car into the center lanes reserved for turning.

“But the van wouldn’t slow down, and I was swerving in and out of traffic and blowing through red lights-I could hear all the car horns honking,”she says.

The DHS vehicle barely missed hitting a pedestrian before finally ramming into a Lincoln Continental traveling westbound on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, says George’s attorney James Funt of the firm Greenblatt & Funt.

The “violent collision”sent the Lincoln careening into parked cars near the intersection, totaling the vehicle and causing its driver “serious neck and back injuries,”according to a deposition from the driver of the Lincoln.

George, who lives in Overbrook, says she was “terribly shaken up”as she emerged from the van. “I wasn’t even sure I was alive after the final impact, not until I opened my eyes and saw all the cops and people screaming.”

An eyewitness at the scene told police that he saw the van’s brake lights illuminate, indicating that George was pressing down on the pedal to no avail. Another witness told a cop at the scene that he saw George repeatedly pumping the van’s brakes and honking the horn in an apparent attempt to warn other drivers.

An ambulance rushed George to Hahnemann Hospital, where doctors treated her for back and neck injuries.

On June 10, 2003-nearly three months after the accident-Philadelphia police officer Terry Wallace issued a warrant for George’s arrest. The warrant included charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, criminal mischief and accidents causing serious bodily injury.

Wallace requested “high bail”even though George is a 38-year-old single mother with no criminal history, Funt says.

George immediately turned herself in. She was jailed for 24 hours while being criminally processed. Members of her church collected nearly $1,000 to post bail because George couldn’t scrape together the money herself, Funt adds.

During a preliminary hearing Oct. 6, 2003, Municipal Court Judge Seamus McCaffery dismissed all criminal charges against George due to “lack of evidence.”

“She was treated as a common criminal from the time of her arrest until her hearing, despite that she fully cooperated and was clearly distraught,” Funt says.

Divisional deputy city solicitor Jeffrey Scott, who is representing Wallace in the civil suit scheduled for trial, says the Law Department doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

But during the Oct. 6, 2003, criminal hearing, Wallace testified that after reviewing documents, he determined Fleet Management had repaired the van’s brake pedal less than 24 hours before the accident. He said it was in “good condition.”Wallace also testified that George had made “a controlled move”and stepped on the gas pedal.

George is asking for $375,000 in damages from the city. But she says what she truly wants is for the city to take dangerous cars out of its fleet.

“I’d simply like this to never happen to anyone else,” she says. “At DHS we drive children around every day. And I haven’t noticed any improvement in the quality of cars signed out since my accident.”

Philadelphia city government owns more than 6,000 vehicles. That figure includes garbage trucks, police cars and tow trucks.

Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney James Funt, please access his profile.

“A Lowe Blow” Ralph Lowe Welcomes Freedom as the Innocent Man is Finally Set Free

By: DBHWebGPEFF

After 21 months in jail, a Philadelphia man is released on the eve of his trial.

Although 21-year-old Ralph Lowe said he did not fatally shoot 44-year-old Kevin Coles in North Philadelphia, the Philadelphia district attorney charged him with murder. Lowe was charged and sent to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility on the basis of a brawl he and a group of teenagers had with Coles two hours prior to the shooting.

Twenty-one months later, Lowe is a free and innocent man. He was released from prison on the eve of his murder trial. But assistant District Attorney Ed Cameron said Lowe was released because “two of our witnesses went south” and the charges can be reinstated at any time. However, criminal defense attorneys Ronald Greenblatt and Meg Flores of Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, the Philadelphia law firm representing Lowe, say testimony from alibi witnesses given to the district attorney’s office months ago prove Lowe’s innocence. Greenblatt, who said his firm spent, literally hundreds of hours” on the case to prove their client’s innocence.

The case received enormous publicity and Lowe’s conviction was seen as a formality. “Once again, there was a rush to judgment in this case”, said Greenblatt. “once you fairly listened to the evidence, the case against Ralph just didn’t add up. Both Ms. Flores and I are thrilled for Mr. Lowe and his family. They are tremendously decent people who had to endure an unfair hardship in having to show Ralph’s innocence.”

Media reports portrayed Coles as a neighborhood crusader against drug dealers. However, further investigation by police and Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, revealed that Coles may have had a gun on him and initiated the confrontation.

Following Lowe’s release, Frank “Stine” Pralour was charged with murdering Coles. He was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorneys Ronald Greenblatt and Meg Flores, please access their profiles.

Landlord Declared Unfit For Trial Related to Apartment House Tragedy

By: DBHWebGPEFF

Accused Landlord Is Held On Bail…Politically Motivated Case?

A judge has ruled that landlord John Gray, 63, is incompetent to stand trial for six murders, including those of four children, in a West Philadelphia apartment house that was rife with building code violations when it caught fire. Gray’s lawyer, Ronald Greenblatt, of Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores, argued that his client is suffering from brain damage that will never improve. While the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office disputed the claim of incompetence, the court disagreed with the District Attorney’s Office in holding Mr. Gray incompetent to stand trial.

The case shows the importance in using high quality expert testimony. Mr. Greenblatt had Dr. Allan Tepper, a nationally recognized psychologist and lawyer, and Dr. Kenneth Weiss, a Board Certified Neuropsychologist, testify that Mr. Gray was incompetent. While the prosecution had expert witnesses, Mr. Greenblatt’s successfully undermined the Commonwealth’s expert witnesses.

The prosecutor conceded that Gray has a five-year-old brain injury, but insisted that he’s now faking serious illness to avoid trial. Common Pleas Judge Carolyn E. Temin gave the prosecution 30 days to decide whether to appeal her ruling. Gray, of Lawnside, New Jersey, was facing third-degree murder charges for the fire deaths of tenants living in a property on 42nd Street near Lancaster Avenue.

Mr. Gray was held after failing to post the $200,000 bail. While the District Attorney’s office said it was satisfied with the bail, Gray’s lawyer, Ronald Greenblatt, attacked it as excessive and politically motivated.

“Mr. Gray is a very sick man of 65, who has all his family in the area and holds other properties in the city,” Greenblatt said. “Bail is supposed to make sure the defendant will come to trial, and there is just no possibility that Mr. Gray will flee.”

Greenblatt charged that Abraham’s office was prosecuting Gray – and asking for a high bail – as part of an effort to curry political favor with the black community.

“This whole case is about Lynne Abraham trying to save her political skin in the black community,” Greenblatt charged. “There have been protests in West Philadelphia about the fire at Mr. Gray’s property, and she is just trying to respond to them.”

Abraham, who has clashed with City Council President John F. Street and other African American leaders during her administration, was up for re-election at the time.

Greenblatt said that Gray would plead not guilty to the six counts of murder, and other related charges.

Licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC specializes in the areas of criminal law, traffic law violations, civil law, corporate law, family law and employment law. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the multi-disciplinary, full service law firm represents individuals, families and businesses with cost-effective counseling and litigation, including homicide and assault, traffic offenses, DUI/DWI, juvenile law, domestic relations, divorce, custody, employment and employee benefits issues, civil rights, domestic abuse, federal criminal defense, white collar crimes, sex crimes and cyberspace crimes. Greenblatt, Pierce, Engle, Funt & Flores LLC has law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Haddonfield, New Jersey. For more information on Attorney Ronald Greenblatt, please access his profile.